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Cigars, Beer & Poker Ground >> Advice for Beginning Poker Player


3/3/10 9:24 PM
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Alabama Man
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Thanks for the advice, Dave Fu. I am not a knuckle head, and I listen to any free advice given by smarter/more experienced people. I actually printed out the thing you wrote about dealing with the maniac and it helped me in a few games. Before that I didn't know how to deal with these people.
3/3/10 9:28 PM
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DaveFu
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3. Big Pots are won when your opponents make or draw to 2nd best hands that are very good and ALMOST as good as yours.


The fact is that the 2nd nuts is going to go broke to the nuts "96%+" (a guesstimate) of the time in big bet (PL/NL) poker.

That means a few things....

*The first is that you shouldn't be afraid to play your big hands strongly.

Just accept that not every time you have a monster someone has something good. and many times people will make the right decision and fold with their junk and you'll win a small pot.

By doing this you'll avoid fancy plays which to beginners typically mean underbetting their good hands to trap players with worse hands or slowplaying vulnerable hands in an effort to extract additional money. The bad news is that when overused you set up situations where you'll win small pots and lose big ones, which we already explained is bad.


Another advantage is that by playing a very aggressive straight ahead style, people will typically play the same way against you and let you know when you're beat.
3/3/10 9:46 PM
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DaveFu
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Edited: 03/04/10 6:23 PM
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AB,<br /><br />It isn't about you being a knuckle head. Poker is not an either or game, there are numerous factors and concepts that have to be weighed against each other and prioritized to make the best possible poker decision. My point with what I am writing, is that nearly all semi serious players acknowledge and understand these basic concepts, however they under-prioritize them. It's why you take a book like Barry Greenstein's Ace on The River book, and pros love it and think its completely underrated and the majority of low level guys think it is a fluffy coffee table book because THEY KNOW all the stuff in it. The book is about plugging life leaks that all professional players have and have cost them dearly over their careers.
3/4/10 11:55 AM
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andre
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DaveFu - So what that means to you as a poker player is that you should basically not be afraid to lose small pots by calling value bets. Inversely, you shouldn't be building big pots with weak hands, that leads to big expensive mistakes on your part.

This information can help you with game selection, because the best players tend to pull a profitable chunk of the big pots. And the worst players tend to play the most hands and win a lot of trashy pots.




This is excellent advice. Understanding this made an extremely significant change in my game.
3/4/10 6:57 PM
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DaveFu
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Edited: 03/09/10 11:57 AM
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4 Discipline Discipline Discipline!! and it's evil twin Tilt!

Discipline is a player's biggest edge, yet only the best take full advantage of it. Discipline is the great equalizer against talented players.

Lets contrast two players:

The first is nanonoko, an online player who is in my opinion, the ultimate grinder. Here is why:

Plays 24 tables at once<br />3,000,000 hands played since 8/08

Win rate of 3.18 bb/100 for a total of 1.3 million won.

Mainly plays 1/2-5/10 nl

Compare that to a guy like Stu Ungar.

Considered one of the most talented gin and no limit players ever.

Only man to win 3 WSOP main events.

Only man to win 3 Super Bowls of Poker (second biggest tourney pre WPT).

He made an estimated 30 million over his poker career.

Went broke numerous times due to Tilt, Sports Betting, and Drug Addiction.

Died broke at age 45 due to convulsions from a possible drug overdose. He had won the 1997 Main Event the year before.

Now those are extreme examples from different eras, I'm not asking one to compare the abilities of the players, but I find it hard to believe that a guy like nanonoko will bust out in poker or the game of life. My point is that tenacity and discipline can and will triumph over more talented and less disciplined players over the long term.
3/4/10 7:38 PM
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DaveFu
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Edited: 03/06/10 10:29 AM
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Discipline and Tilt are two ends on the same scale:

Just a few brief examples before I get deeply into it.

When you're disciplined:

You get up and quit when you're not playing at a profitably.

You keep yourself rested and sober to play your best for as long as you can.

You seek to play at the best position at a table whenever possible.

When you're on tilt:

You get obsessed with getting even.

You play -ev games at stakes you cant afford because they are exciting or have a high variance.

You are abusive to those around you.

You are unable to rationally observe and process all available information.

3/5/10 1:52 AM
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Alabama Man
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DaveFu -It isn't about you being a knuckle head. Poker is not an either or game, there are numerous factors and concepts that have to be weighed against each other and prioritized to make the best possible poker decision..

When you're disciplined:

You get up and quit when you're not playing at a profitably.

You keep yourself rested and sober to play your best for as long as you can.

You seek to play at the best position at a table whenever possible.


When you're on tilt:

You get obsessed with getting even.

You play -ev games at stakes you cant afford because they are exciting or have a high variance.

You are abusive to those around you.

You are unable to rationally observe and process al available information.




This is really good information and exactly the thing that would take me a long time to figure out. Thanks for the info. I have gotten on 2 + 2 forum and am absorbing information there and am reading the Theory of Poker book.
3/5/10 9:49 PM
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alley
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TOP is excellent, but it doesn't really explain in any real depth concepts that you need in no-limit, such as pot control. It's more like a Sun-Tzu Art of War type of abstract book.

Harrington's books are more practical.
3/6/10 11:08 AM
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DaveFu
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Like I was saying discipline and tilt are two ends of the same scale.

I define "discipline" as a state where you not on tilt, what sports psychologists refer to as optimal stimulation. You are in a place mentally and emotionally that allows to play your best poker and make rational decisions with no difficulty.

I define "tilt" in the same way Dr. Alan Schoonmaker does, it is any condition that makes you play less than optimally. Alan Schoonmaker is required reading for all poker players, he's an industrial psychologist who focuses on writing poker psychology books.

Tilit usually gets pigeonholed as "steaming" because you're angry, I think that is incorrect and puts the condition in the wrong light and makes you less aware of other factors that put you off your best game.
3/8/10 4:58 AM
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PR
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alley - TOP is excellent, but it doesn't really explain in any real depth concepts that you need in no-limit, such as pot control. It's more like a Sun-Tzu Art of War type of abstract book.

Harrington's books are more practical.


Agreed but Harrington's books are for intermediate to advanced players. To properly understand them anyway.

TOP was written when NL wasnt very popular, so most of the examples are from limit games.
3/8/10 1:18 PM
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andre
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PR, what do you think of Harrington's books? When I first read them I felt that he was playing a bit too tightly, but I have a much better appreciation for them now. Any thoughts?
3/8/10 1:23 PM
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Hob
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I should really check this sub forum more often...  I recommend this book for the games you are in now...
www.amazon.com/Small-Stakes-Hold-Winning-Expert/dp/1880685329


It's in my car so REMIND ME this week.
3/8/10 1:42 PM
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DaveFu
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Hob,

That's a limit book, I won it and many many others. It was a good book, because it covers ABC poker and goes over pot equity and maximizing EV which are very important concepts to master when playing. I think that from a conceptual stand point Sklanky's NL book is great. From a nuts and bolts stand points, Harrington's Cash books and the Super System chapters are great.

Andre,

Harrington is advocating his ABC Tight Agressive approach which is contrasted quite well by the Kill Phill and Kill Everybody books that advocate the LAG Style which is probably more EV for some people, but with more variance.

The more feedback I get, the more I can help out. I've never put many of my ideas on paper. I'm no pro, but I think I have a firm grasp of many concepts and enjoy bouncing them off everybody. I've played at least 250k hands of poker and have never gone broke online.

I'll add more to this thread as I can because there is a lot more still floating around. This forum is so we can all challenge conventional wisdom and get better.
3/9/10 5:31 AM
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PR
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Conventional wisdom is convention for a reason.

You dont walk in to a MMA gym and challenge the conventional techniques the pros are teaching, do you? No, you learn that way first, then once you understand the conventional wisdom, then you can make educated choices about when to divert from convention.
3/9/10 7:52 AM
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Hob
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 ^ that's deep.  And yes, I'm aware that book is a limit book, and it does cover the ABC's but also addresses the small stakes players and opening hand strength adjustments, etc.  Just my opinion, and by no means am I a World Champion.
3/9/10 11:43 AM
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DaveFu
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Edited: 03/09/10 11:48 AM
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Hob,

I understand the points you're making about the book, I would not have someone learn small stakes no limit by reading it. Any book on limit poker is going to rightfully ignore bet sizing and pot manipulation. It will also understate the importance of pot and implied odds when playing junky hands. You can play 76s or other suited connectors all day heads up for a raise in no limit versus limit where that is an expensive mistake and leak where your implied odds just aren't as abundant without multiple callers.

Also, in limit, the mistake of calling down with a second best hand is a lot cheaper in limit typically than it is no-limit where it can cost your whole stack verus 2.5 big bets in limit.

Just some things to consider when contrasting and studying the two games. Ignoring or underestimating the difference between the two can be a costly leak in your game.
3/9/10 12:16 PM
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billid
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Hob -  ^ that's deep. 



you have to learn the rules before you break em. ...not so deep version.
3/9/10 10:27 PM
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DaveFu
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Back to the importance of discipline.

Discipline is the trait that allows one to follow a specific code or pattern of behavior. For the poker player that means playing their best poker. Depending on the abilities of the poker play this can be winning poker or they'll simply lose less. Regardless good poker is rational poker. Bad poker is irrational poker.

When you're behaving rationally, you're deliberate and your actions are planned.

Discipline is more than not getting upset at the table. Although that is a big part of it.

Here are signs of a disciplined player and I'll contrast them against someone who is undisciplined.

Pregame:

Study study study! By reading this post you've proven that you get this. You're actively making an effort to improve your game. Using forums like this and twoplustwo.com will help you tremendously. Just remember check your ego at the door and don't write off information if you don't understand it, challenge the messenger with questions. If they can't articulate their ideas to your satisfaction, don't add them to your toolbox.



3/10/10 10:48 PM
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DaveFu
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Scout your venue and your game. Almost all card rooms have an internet thread about them at twoplustwo.com where you can get valuable information. You may hear how a new game is more profitable than your typical game.

Play rested, calm, and sober! Your ability to play your best poker is dependent on your abilities to maintain emotional control and focus mentally. If you don't, you already start your game on tilt.

Compare this to a guy who decides after drinking himself stupid because his girlfriend broke up with him. Decides to go party it up at the local casino and make it rain at a game over his bank roll?


3/11/10 6:36 PM
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Hob
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 Like I was saying the other day AM...  This player was at a 6 seater sit-n-go on full tilt.  A table full of these guys is always good...  Never made a profit over 850+ games.  Attention poker players: if your graph looks like this, KEEP PLAYING! You will get there!  You can do it!!  :D


3/11/10 7:29 PM
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DaveFu
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Uh are those your stats?
3/12/10 9:00 AM
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Hob
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DaveFu - Uh are those your stats?

 LMAO, did you read the post? No they are not mine.
3/16/10 7:28 PM
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DaveFu
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I really think a guy like that probably shouldn't be playing for money yet, not if he has any dreams of being a competitive player. That guy would be better off investing his money on learning game.
3/16/10 8:08 PM
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Hob
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DaveFu - I really think a guy like that probably shouldn't be playing for money yet, not if he has any dreams of being a competitive player. That guy would be better off investing his money on learning game.
While this players stats are extreme for that limit, he is not alone.  I have seen worse at that level, and I hope they never give up the game...


 
3/16/10 10:16 PM
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Alabama Man
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Edited: 02/03/11 4:11 PM
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asdf

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